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Steve Blake considered day-to-day with rib injury

67321159It's possible the Lakers will lose yet another player on their depleted roster when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday at Staples Center.

An MRI exam Thursday revealed guard Steve Blake has a costrochaondral fracture, which is the portion of the cartilage that connects the rib to the sternum. The Lakers are listing him as day-to-day. The team indicated Blake suffered the injury during the Lakers' 99-83 victory Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns, and then later aggravated it during the Lakers' 90-87 overtime victory over the Utah Jazz.

Blake left that game with 21 seconds left in the third quarter and favored his midsection while Lakers trainer Gary Vitti attended him on the sideline. Although Blake returned to the bench, he didn't play the rest of the game. 

The Lakers have already experienced plenty of absences with their personnel. Forward Josh McRoberts has missed the past six games because of a sprained big toe in his left foot. Forward Troy Murphy hat sat out the past two because gastroenteritis, while forward Jason Kapono remained absent for those games well for personal reasons involving the recent birth of his twin girls. Meanwhile, reserve forward Derrick Caracter has remained sidelined since the beginning of training camp because of a torn meniscus in his left knee, but the Lakers expect to clear him for running exercises by the end of this week. 

Blake's possible absence hinders or even limitation severely weakens the Lakers' backcourt. Blake has averaged 7.3 points on 40.2% shooting and has often eaten into Derek Fisher's playing time, as the Lakers' starter has struggled with his shooting and conditioning. Rookie point guard Darius Morris played in his first NBA game against Utah, posting four points on a two of two clip, two assists and two turnovers in 13 minutes. 

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--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Steve Blake is assisted by a team trainer after suffering an injury during Wednesday's overtime victory against the Utah Jazz. Credit: George Frey / EPA / January 11, 2012

 
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